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Program in Course Redesign

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)

General Psychology—Course Planning Tool

The Course Planning Tool is a formatted spreadsheet that facilitates a three-step process for institutions to establish and compare the instructional costs before redesign (the traditional course) and the instructional costs after the redesign (the redesigned course).

Step #1 shows the calculation of all personnel costs associated with preparing and delivering the course expressed as an hourly rate. Annual salary for faculty listed is the average of all faculty teaching the course and includes a 32% benefits rate. Step #2 uses this initial calculation to determine the cost of preparing and delivering the traditional course. Step #3 calculates these costs for the redesigned course. More specific Course Planning Tool instructions are available.

Below are a summary of the cost savings anticipated at Cal Poly Pomona and the completed course planning tool.

Cost Savings

Cal Poly Pomona seeks to reduce costs while continuing to increase the number of students served in General Psychology. This project represents a second-generation redesign of a model that has been in place since 1996.

There are 4 spreadsheets below. The first shows the instructional costs per hour for the various personnel, as noted above. The second shows the cost of the traditional course that enrolled 1500 students in sections of 50. The third shows the cost of a pilot redesign implemented in 1995-96 when enrollment was increased to 120 students per section as if the redesign were implemented in the entire course. (The redesign was actually implemented in one section per term.) The fourth shows the planned redesign that will serve a total of 2250 students annually in 5 sections of 450 students each.

In the pilot redesign, lectures were replaced by videotaped presentations delivered in the classrooms using cable television and the Internet. Each faculty member spent slightly more time delivering the course to more than double the number of students. Cal Poly achieved a cost-per-student savings of about 44% (from $135 to $75). While the cost-per-student decreased, Cal Poly believes that the pilot redesign is too labor-intensive with increased time spent in tutorials, chatrooms and email. In addition, with only seven rooms at the university able to accommodate more than 100 students, Cal Poly cannot rely on this model.

In the planned redesign, one faculty member and 8 TAs will serve each large section. Faculty time will be reduced from 2520 hours in the pilot redesign to 645 hours in the final redesign. Much of this time will be spent working with the TAs and working directly with students. These changes will further reduce the cost-per-student from $75 to $21, a 72% decrease, while increasing the number of enrolled students to 2250. Together the two redesigns will reduce the cost-per-student from $135 to $21, an overall reduction of 84% and the student enrollment will increase by 750 students. The savings will be used to serve an increasing number of students and to lower the student-faculty ratio in other courses at the university. In addition, the university will be able to use classrooms previously dedicated to teaching General Psychology for other courses.

[For more detailed information regarding their initial academic redesign, consult the project plan description.]

Step #1: Determine Instructional Costs per Hour

Instructional Costs per Hour—General Psychology

Faculty Full-time  Adjuncts
   
Annual Salary and Benefits $85,800 $5,940
% devoted to instruction 80% 100%
% devoted to this course 11% 100%
$ devoted to this course $7,627 $5,940
   
Contact hours for course 42 42
Out of class hours 113 113
Total hours 155 155
Cost per hour $49 $38
   
Graduate TAs/GAs  
   
Salary  
 
% devoted to instruction  
% devoted to this course  
$ devoted to this course  
   
Contact hours for course  
Out of class hours  
Total hours  
Cost per hour $8
   
Undergraduate TAs  
Cost per hour  
   
Professional/Staff $ per
Positions Hour

Step #2A: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course

Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—General Psychology

  Faculty   Adjuncts
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost

Hourly rate = $49 Hourly rate = $38
I. Course Preparation    

     

A. Curriculum Development 60 $2,940 60 $2,299
B. Materials Acquisition 60 $2,940 60 $2,299
C. Materials Development    

1. Lectures/presentations 225 $11,025 225 $8,622
2. Learning materials/software 150 $7,350 150 $5,748
3. Diagnostic assessments 30 $1,470 30 $1,150
4. Assignments 30 $1,470 30 $1,150
5. Tests/evaluations 180 $8,820 180 $6,898
Sub-Total 735 $36,015 735 $28,165
     

D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training    

1. Orientation    

2. Staff meetings    

3. Attend lectures    

Sub-Total    

Total Preparation 735 $36,015 735 $28,165
     

II. Course Delivery    

     

A. Instruction    

1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 15 $735 15 $575
2. Presentation 495 $24,255 495 $18,968
3. Interaction 375 $18,375 375 $14,370
4. Progress monitoring 120 $5,880 120 $4,598
Sub-Total 1005 $49,245 1005 $38,512
     

B. Evaluation    

1. Test proctoring 120 $5,880 120 $4,598
2. Tests/evaluation 465 $22,785 465 $17,819
Sub-Total 585 $28,665 585 $22,417
Total Delivery 1590 $77,910 1590 $60,929
     

TOTAL 2325 $113,925 2325 $89,094
     

     

     

GRAND TOTAL   $203,019

Total # of students   1500

Cost per student   $135

Step #2B: Determine Costs of Earlier Revision of Traditional Course

Instructional Costs of Current Course—General Psychology

  Faculty   Graduate TAs/GAs  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $49 Hourly rate = $8
I. Course Preparation        
         
A. Curriculum Development 30 $1,470    
B. Materials Acquisition 30 $1,470    
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations 60 $2,940 150 $1,200
2. Learning materials/software 90 $4,410 150 $1,200
3. Diagnostic assessments 15 $735    
4. Assignments 30 $1,470    
5. Tests/evaluations 120 $5,880    
Sub-Total 375 $18,375 300 $2,400
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training         
1. Orientation 60 $2,940 60 $480
2. Staff meetings 120 $5,880 120 $960
3. Attend lectures     60 $480
Sub-Total 180 $8,820 240 $1,920
Total Preparation 555 $27,195 540 $4,320
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 15 $735    
2. Presentation 30 $1,470 30 $240
3. Interaction 900 $44,100 450 $3,600
4. Progress monitoring 90 $4,410 60 $480
Sub-Total 1035 $50,715 540 $4,320
         
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 120 $5,880 120 $960
2. Tests/evaluation 810 $39,690 210 $1,680
Sub-Total 930 $45,570 330 $2,640
Total Delivery 1965 $96,285 870 $6,960
         
TOTAL 2520 $123,480 1410 $11,280
         
         
         
GRAND TOTAL   $134,760    
Total # of students   1800    
Cost per student   $75    

Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of the Redesigned Course

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—General Psychology

  Faculty   Graduate TAs/GAs  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $49 Hourly rate = $8
I. Course Preparation        
         
A. Curriculum Development        
B. Materials Acquisition 10 $490    
C. Materials Development         
1. Lectures/presentations        
2. Learning materials/software        
3. Diagnostic assessments 5 $245    
4. Assignments 10 $490    
5. Tests/evaluations        
Sub-Total 25 $1,225    
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation/TA monitoring 60 $2,940 80 $640
2. Staff meetings 40 $1,960 160 $1,280
3. Attend lectures        
Sub-Total 100 $4,900 240 $1,920
Total Preparation 125 $6,125 240 $1,920
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge        
2. Presentation        
3. Interaction 300 $14,700 400 $3,200
4. Progress monitoring 100 $4,900 100 $800
Sub-Total 400 $19,600 500 $4,000
         
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 10 $490 180 $1,440
2. Tests/evaluation 110 $5,390 1125 $9,000
Sub-Total 120 $5,880 1305 $10,440
Total Delivery 520 $25,480 1805 $14,440
         
TOTAL 645 $31,605 2045 $16,360
         
         
         
GRAND TOTAL   $47,965    
Total # of students   2250    
Cost per student   $21    

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